- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 25, 2005

CONNECTICUT

Judge delays serial killer’s execution

HARTFORD — A federal judge yesterday postponed the execution of a convicted serial killer who had tried to end his appeals and tomorrow was to become the first person put to death in New England in nearly 45 years.

U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny delayed the execution at least until he can hold a full hearing on the mental competence of Michael Ross. He did not immediately set a date for the hearing. Prosecutors said they would appeal.

Ross, 45, is on death row for the murders of four young women in Connecticut in the early 1980s. His 1984 arrest ended a nationwide three-year spree of attacks. He raped most of his victims and killed eight, six in Connecticut.

FLORIDA

Woman in Elian suit cites tear gas

MIAMI — The first witness in a $3 million-plus lawsuit testified that she clutched her chest and thought she was dying when a federal agent doused her with tear gas during the April 22, 2000, raid to send Elian Gonzalez back to Cuba.

Maria Riera is one of 13 persons who said they were injured or traumatized when federal agents seized the 6-year-old boy from his Miami relatives’ home.

“I was stopped by a gentleman on my left approaching me with a shotgun,” said Mrs. Riera, who lived across the street from the home targeted in the raid.

She said a black-garbed and masked agent ordered her to “stand back” or he would shoot, adding profanity. She said she complied, but a second agent approached with a gas gun and left her in a cloud of tear gas.

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